Re-connecting pets and people through fosters

MEDFORD, Ore. — People displaced from the local fires look to pick up the pieces left behind or even lost, including pets.

Southern Oregon Humane Society held its annual sponsored event by AAA RV with the Saving Train program.

Operations Manager, Ryan Johnson, said the adoption event was postponed because of the fires and the shelter having to evacuate twice for fires nearby on Table Rock Road.

“We do 25 total appointments for the day and adopt out as many dogs and cats as we can!” Johnson said.

He said displaced animals are centralized through the Jackson County Animal Shelter temporarily set up at The Expo Center, but even though the Humane Society does not have any animals displaced from local fires right now, they could possibly see some in the weeks to come.

“We’re just trying to provide as much support to the Jackson County animal services and animal control currently as we’re able to with donations and offering support to them in the form of space in our facility in the interim,” he said.

Matching pets with their owners is a major online effort with several people posting and sharing photos including Victoria Garcia-Shipley who is a Co-Admin on the Pet Fosters for Almeda and Obenchain Fire victims Facebook page.

She said getting the page up early is key to success.

“They even say, ‘I’m confused. I don’t know where to look for my animal.’ This way, it keeps it all centralized and in one place and it makes it easier for them,” she said.

“We have more residents willing to help and foster than people that are looking for fosters, but it’s early. With my experience working with wildfires is the families aren’t ready yet,” Garcia-Shipley said.

She said being able to help reunite family pets is worth the work and time she puts in.

“It’s the best feeling, it really is. It’s just the feeling of reuniting the lost and found,” she said.

“There’s help out there. Don’t surrender your animal if you don’t have to,” she added.

Here are links to help you connect to groups with people willing to foster set up through a master list from FOTAS for all Facebook pages.

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NBC5 News weather forecaster Aaron Nilsson is a Southern California native, but most recently lived in Seattle. He's also lived in Sweden and Utah. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelors Degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Scandinavian Studies. While at BYU, he covered sports for BYUtv. Aaron is not new to the Medford/Klamath Falls market. He was a local TV journalist from 2013-2017. Outside the station, Aaron enjoys music, traveling, sports, movies, and cooking. His favorite sport is soccer.
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